Is there anything better than pairs of musicians who become unlikely collaborators and then seem to genuinely hit it off as friends? Duos like Killer Mike & El-P, Bjork & Arca, and Willie Nelson & Snoop Dogg have not only produced great music, but also similar sensations to those cute videos of puppies befriending fawns, monkeys riding pigs, etc. Stylistically speaking, chill strummers Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett aren’t as far removed from each other as the names previously listed, but growing up halfway across the world from each other, they make a unique pair.
The American Vile and Australian Barnett have a collaborative album called Lotta Sea Lice dropping next month and thus far, the music and videos we’ve seen from it are all charming displays of their friendship. They never appeared in the same frame in the video for lead single “Over Everything,” but lip-syncing each others’ parts, the duo gave us a good idea of just how adorable and easygoing this album would be. Their second video, “Continental Breakfast,” follows a similar formula, but leans into the humor and “aww” factors even harder.
Once again, Vile and Barnett shot their scenes separately, each shown in what appears to be their hometowns of Philadelphia and Melbourne, respectively. The song seems to directly reference their unlikely friendship, featuring the lyric, “I cherish my intercontinental friendships,” as well as a general sense of fortuitous coincidence. “I’m not big on enemies,” sings Vile, adding to the sense that these are two very friendly people. The video features both candidly hanging out with friends and family, Barnett taking her dogs swimming in a river and Vile taking his daughters to a carnival.
Lotta Sea Lice seems pretty low-stakes in terms of both artists’ careers, but that’s also what seems to allow for all of its unabashed lyrical candor. Vile and Barnett are touring behind the release, and we’re sure the banter between them at those shows will be almost as entertaining as the music.